Career Definition for an EEG Technician
EEG technicians help diagnose tumors, strokes, epilepsy, and sleep disorders by using an EEG machine to record the electrical impulses in a patient's brain or nervous system. EEG technicians take patients' medical histories, apply electrodes to patients, operate EEG machines, and monitor patients during testing. They also create comprehensive reports about EEG results.
|Education||Certificate or associate's degree preferred|
|Job Skills||Patient interaction, anesthesia understanding, visual data interpretation, able to cope with stressful settings|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$49,997|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)**||23% for health technologists and technicians|
Source: *Salary.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
EEG techs usually have a certificate or associate's degree from an accredited EEG technician program. There are 22 such programs in the U.S., and they take from one to two years to complete. Courses in an EEG technician program may include electronics, neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, neuropathology, and clinical science. EEG technicians are encouraged to become credentialed by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists.
An EEG tech must be skilled at reading EEG machines and interacting with patients to ensure reliable results. They also must understand the effects of anesthesia on EEG results and be able to interpret visual data. EEG technicians must be prepared to apply their skills in stressful settings, such as operating or emergency rooms, if need be.
Salary.com reported the median salary earned by EEG techs was $49,997 as of May 2016. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published that the field of health technologists and technicians, including EEG techs, is expected to grow at a much faster than average rate of 23% between 2014 and 2024.
Here are some other choices in the field of healthcare imaging:
Somewhat similar to an EEG technician, cardiovascular technicians use electrocardiogram (EKG) machines to measure heart activity and diagnose disorders and illness. They set up the equipment, affix probes to a person's chest, record heart beats using technical monitoring devices and print out reports for physician review.
Completing a 1-year certificate program or earning an associate degree in cardiovascular technology is usually required to enter this profession. Professional certification is available and can be beneficial when apply for jobs. The BLS predicts a 22% increase in employment opportunities for cardiovascular technicians and technologists between 2014 and 2024, and many of these new positions will be found in clinics and doctor's offices instead of hospitals. The median salary for cardiovascular technicians was $54,880, as reported by the BLS in May of 2015.
For those interested in diagnostic technology and high-tech imaging equipment, becoming an MRI technologist may be a good career choice. MRI technologists get the patient ready by moving them into the right position and injecting contrast dye into their system. The scanner is then passed over the body and the technologist captures images of areas that a doctor has specified as problematic. They also prepare reports and perform maintenance on the equipment.
To qualify for employment, an associate degree in MRI technology is necessary and some states require licensure through examination. MRI technologists should experience employment growth of 10% during the 2014-2024 decade, as projected by the BLS. They also determined that these technologists received a median yearly income of $67,720 in 2015.